Friday, September 27, 2013

five on friday

One. Our Anniversary
Tuesday was our two year anniversary!  I can't believe how fast the time has just flown by since then.  I know I've said that in my last couple posts, but it still just blows my mind that it was two years ago already!  Joe loved his axe from Best Made Co (thanks to Jessica @ Little Baby Garvin for the reference on her blog) & was over the moon about his mini-whiskeys.  He was totally surprised & had no idea what I had up my sleeve.  He got me an awesome set of copper cups that I've been dying to have.  He got 2 different styles & I love both of them.  He also got me ginger beer, lime, & vodka.  I know what I'm drinking this weekend!

Joe with his new axe, his miniature whiskeys, & his mexican fiesta

my copper cups for Moscow Mules!
Two.  Tattoo
An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward.  When life is dragging you back with difficulties it means it's going to launch you into something great.  So just focus, and keep aiming.  So this is one of my favorite quotes of all time.  It represents so much for me on a personal level.  I, much like everyone else have had some pretty challenging struggles in my life.  I've overcome some of my own dark demons in the past, and now going through the struggle of infertility, this quote has an infinite amount of meaning to me.  

our 2nd matching tattoo <3

Three.  Camping
Tonight we are having a small camping get together at our property.  Hoping everyone can come & roast hot dogs on the fire & enjoy a few brews.  It should be the perfect night for it.  The weather has just been amazing lately.  Fall is officially here!

roasted mallows & hot dogs! yummmm! can't wait

Four.  Donut House Cinnamon Roll K-Cups
One of my co-workers buys the majority of the K-cups for my Keurig at work since he uses it most often (besides me of course).  When I got to work on Wednesday he had a couple boxes of the usual (along with some other goodies) plus a new box of the Donut House brand in Cinnamon Roll.  Once I opened the box I could smell these things, OMG, to die for.  Perfect for fall, something besides pumpkin spice, I just love them!

my coffee station at work <3

i am pretty spoiled at work, but i do a lot for the guys so i don't feel bad :)

Five.  Fall Favorite Movies
So last weekend I was really in the mood to watch Hocus Pocus & for probably the last 3 years I've really been dying to watch What Lies Beneath with Michelle Pfeiffer.  I couldn't find Hocus Pocus on Nexflix (or What Lies Beneath for the last 3 years!) or on TV until later this week so I was bummed (luckily Home Alone was on!)  I ended up getting on Amazon & ordering both movies plus Beetlejuice, one of my top 10 favorite movies since I was about 4 for around $20.  #iheartamazon  Now that I've watched these 3 I'm primed for AMC Fear Fest, Halloween is the best time of year for movies (except for Christmas of course!), I'm a die-hard scary movie buff.  I owe that to my dad for showing me Freddy Krueger at the age of 3.   

classic movies!

Happy weekend my loves, enjoy this beautiful weather!  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

another road block

If you've been following along at all, then you're aware of the fact that we've been trying to get pregnant for about 2 years now & we haven't had any luck.  I've had a couple different tests done & so has Joe & everything has come back with positive results.  We've tried everything from scientific facts down to old wives tales, seriously, there is probably nothing I haven't tried.  You may or may not be able to see me standing on my head in the middle of my living room if you drive by on the right day of the month.  Yeah, like I said, everything.  It's extremely frustrating.  That's putting it simply.  I would prefer to have something wrong & be able to pinpoint it rather than not having a specific diagnosis.  

I had my annual exam a couple weeks ago and my doc is a midwife, not a certified OBGYN, so she told me to go ahead and make an appointment with Dr. B to see about getting on Clomid (which stimulates ovulation if you're not ovulating, but guess what, I am!) or explore other options.  I had my appointment on Tuesday (yes, on my anniversary).  I was so excited for work to get over & to go and meet with her to see what she had to say & write me my prescription, & head out the door with great news.  That's about the exact opposite of what happened.  My appointment was at 3:00.  She didn't come in the room until 3:45.  She says to me, "I went over your charts, you've had the tests done, & everything has come back positive, so, why exactly are you here?" Yeah.  I wanted to throw some bows right then and there.  She was not friendly to me about it at all.  I was really disappointed, on the verge of tears, & just ready to shut down.  My expectations were severely misguided.  Basically what it's going to come down to now is that I should be receiving a call from the fertility specialist who comes to WHCC.  ONCE. A. MONTH.  on Fridays.  The last Friday of the month too, so I definitely won't be seeing him this Friday & will be waiting an entire month to see him.  This situation has taught me soooooo much about patience.  She told me that he has an office in Peoria & I'm planning to make my appointment there as soon as he can get me in.  I have a couple vacation days that I can use (luckily we can take ours in 2 hour increments too!) so I'm planning on getting in as soon as possible.   I did hear from back from the office today that my paperwork was faxed over & I should be hearing from them soon about making an appointment.  The lady that called me from the office was really great, she said that she had seem him (as a patient) and loves him.  I felt a lot better after I talked to her & now I'm more excited about getting in to see him.

I did shed some tears on the way home, but kept reminding myself that it was my anniversary & I shouldn't let anything get me down.  I've felt in the last few months, much less stressed & worried,  & more willing to let things happen on their own, but I'm starting to dwindle down to the end of my rope again & I'm really hoping there is some good news on the horizon.  It can be so hard to stay focused on the positive.  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Happy 2nd Anniversary Joe


I still just cannot fathom the fact that it's been two years since we got married.  I remember everything so vividly & have some of the best memories from that day that I just can't believe that much time has passed already since we were enjoying our beautiful wedding day together.

In our first year of marriage we experienced our horrible motorcycle accident, & now in our second year, we are coming very close to putting that all behind us.  Another incredible year down, & the rest of our lives to go.  I'll admit that we haven't quite had everything happen for us that we wanted to, number one being getting pregnant, but we are actually (today!) taking a huge step in getting there.  We haven't quite started on our forever home, but we're getting very close.  We have so many amazing things to be looking forward to in our future & I'm thankful every day that I get to share those amazing things with you.  You know that you have been my rock from the beginning & I'm so blessed to have you in my life.  You're the epitome of what a man should be.  You have amazing character & you're a shining example of a husband. How I got so lucky, I will never know.  

Cheers to two years, my love.

our first look

love this one... checkin out my dress

one of my favorite pics from the day

our awesome wedding party

our little family


us on the cruise

Sunday, September 22, 2013

happy first day of fall

Today is officially the first day of Fall! I’ve got quite a list of festive fall to-do’s that I’d like to get accomplished.

all pins can be found here

Friday, September 20, 2013

five on friday

One.  Vintage Illinois    
If you’re a wine connoisseur like I consider myself to be & you’re local, you should definitely check out Vintage Illinois.  It’s a wine festival held out a Matthiesson on Saturday & Sunday.  There will be 31 Illinois wineries.  It’s $20 a ticket (I believe it’s discounted for August Hill wine club members or pre-ordered tickets online here.)  Jessica and I are volunteering on Sunday from 11-2:30 so we actually get to participate for FREE!!  The weather is going to be perfect for this event.  Highly recommend checking it out if you’re local. 

vintage illinois 2012

Two.  Etsy Finds
After our garage sale I decided to treat myself to a couple new things & put the rest of the money in savings.  I’ve been eyeing up these billy ball flowers from TheFickleFeltTreefor a couple weeks now.  They are the perfect fall décor they can be up from September to November.  I’ve got a set of these in shades of grey that I leave out all year.  I just think they’re adorable.  I also bought throw pillow covers from studiotullia that I’ve had my eye on for a while now as well, and bonus, they were 20% off!  I love the shape of them.  All of my couch pillows are square, these are more rectangular, & I love the geometric pattern on them. 

billy balls!
cute throw pillows

Three. Toga Party
Jessica & Mike are throwing a toga party tonight at their house!  I’m not really sure what the occasion is, I’m not sure that there is one.  I haven’t been to a toga party since high school so I’m kinda looking forward to it.  I’ll definitely be posting pics.  Should be an interesting night!


Four.  New Hair
My fabulous friend Jen did (as usual) an amazing job on my new fall hair.  I did a similar look to this last summer, but I think fall is a more appropriate time for such a dark color, level 5 violet with an even darker low light.  I think I’ll keep this for my fall/winter look the rest of the year.  I used to take a lot of risks with my hair, I’ve had blonde hair, brunette hair, black hair, red hair, I’ve had a pixie cute, I wore extensions for years that I did myself.   The summer of our wedding I went blonde & kept it that way for about a year when I decided to do the level 5 violet underneath.  I love doing different fun things with my hair.  How coloring it all violet???

new hair!  always fun

Five.  Next Week
I really hate the idea of wishing my life away, even if it’s just by a week or so, but I am so excited for next week.  Tuesday is our anniversary & I can’t wait to give Joe his present, I have a couple other small surprises for him, I also have my appointment with Dr. Bon Tuesday to get on Clomid (is this real life?!), then Thursday Joe and I are getting another matching tattoo (to be revealed on next week’s Five on Friday) & going to Bartley’s to continue our anniversary celebration!

such a beautiful day. 9/24/11

Happy weekend lovelies!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Weekend Ramblings, Chicken & Black Bean Soup, & a Burlap Wreath

Whata weekend!  The garage sale was fabulous.  Saturday it was about 70 degrees outside and perfect, we made about $700 in just 7 hours!  It was a beautiful day so lots of people came & bought.  After the garage sale, Jessica and I, and my mom went to August Hill to pick up our Will Call wine & ended up staying and drinking entirely too much.  It was a perfect day to sit out, sip some wine, & enjoy some live music.  We started the garage sale at 7 so I had been up since about 4:30 with the dog & getting things ready, I was beat & after drinking 3 glasses of wine & doing a taste, I got home and laid down on the couch and passed out until about midnight when I decided to move to my bed.  Today went pretty well too, we only were open from 7-12, we made about another $100, closed up shop, & called it a day.  It's rainy and gloomy here so it's not a nice day to be out garage-saling.  We were happy with our profit, but glad it's over too, so much work having a garage sale! 

we used this Edward Cullen cut out to lure people to the sale!

yummy Illinois Sparkling Co. Dollface & a flight!

On Friday after we set up we ordered wayyyyy too much food from Garzanellis & ended up with about four pieces of left over fried chicken.  Fried chicken is never good reheated, even in the oven so I decided to make chicken & black bean soup with the leftovers & thought I'd share the recipe because it's so easy!

Seriously, 1 can of black beans, 1 can of corn, 1 jar of salsa or picante sauce, a red or yellow onion diced, 4 cups of chicken stock, some type of pasta noodle (optional), and  your left over chicken!

Saute your onion in a little bit of oil in a soup pan, add the 4 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Add your salsa, beans, corn, & chicken (remove the skin& shred it up), bring to a boil, add your pasta and cook until the noodles are done, & voila!  You have the easiest Chicken & Black Bean soup ever.  I add a dollop of sour cream & shredded cheese when I eat it.  So yummy!

saute your onions with some olive oil

add four cups of chicken stock

add your corn, beans, & picante sauce or salsa

de-skin your chicken

shred it up & boil everything (add your pasta noodles)

and enjoy!  don't forget to add a dollop of sour cream & some shredded cheese!

One other thing I got accomplished this weekend (can't believe I had time, but I did) was this burlap wreath.  I can't wait to make more of these babies.  They're pretty awesome & so easy.  I would be happy to make these for anyone who asked.  It was fun, can't wait to make a Christmas one!! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

five on friday

One. Garage Sale
This weekend my friend Jessica, my mom, and two of my aunts (plus a couple things from a few others) are hosting a garage sale at my house. If you’re local, Saturday 7-2 and Sunday 7-12. You can see the full ad in the News Tribune. Jessica keeps saying that we’re having the best garage sale ever, I’m not sure if that’s entirely true, but we do have a lot of cute stuff. Lots of clothes, lots of purses, scarves & wallets, lots of books, both audio & paper. A computer, two TV’s, a microwave, two end tables (that could easily be redone & be super adorbs!), and the list goes on! Hoping to get rid of some stuff & make some cashola.

yes this is a cut out of Edward Cullen (GAG ME!) he will be at the end of the driveway enticing patrons

Two. Work it Out

I went back to the Y the Wednesday after Labor Day. I thought it would take me awhile to get back into the groove of wanting to go, but I have been going every day and having killer workouts. I’m only doing about a 12 min mile on the treadmill (need to work myself back up a bit), then spending a lot of time on my arms, abs, and legs. I’ve already got a couple callouses on my hands… killing it again!

Three. Joe’s Anniversary Gift
I suck at keeping surprises. I’m a pretty good gift giver (thanks to my mom) so I have a hard time holding in or wrapping it up and keeping it a secret. I got Joe’s anniversary gift sent to me at work on Wednesday and I can hardly contain myself. I know he will love it. There. That’s all I’m saying!

my tattoo I got last year for our one year, orchids were our wedding flower, represented one year of marriage

Four. August Hill Will Call Weekend
Yes, it’s that time again. Hard to believe that it’s been two months since the last Five on Friday post that I gushed about Will Call weekend. I switched from the “sweet” to the “dry” membership because my palette has definitely evolved over the last few years. You can keep your muscato, give me merlot! Just kidding, I still love muscato, but I would choose merlot over it now. Not only is the weather supposed to be beautiful this weekend, wine will be much needed after working a garage sale all day Saturday!

Five. Time Flies
Does anyone else realize that Sunday is already the middle of September? I cannot believe how quickly this entire year has just gone by in the blink of an eye. Tons of great memories so far, & tons more to go. I’ve already got Christmas gifts in the works & I’m already pumped to cut down a tree & watch Christmas Vacation and Elf. I really had high hopes for 2013 in terms of getting pregnant & starting on our house, of course those two things did not work out as planned, but 2013 was still one for the books. I said this last year, but I think 2014 will be our year. We will soon be one step closer on our journey to pregnancy, we are soon to be one step closer to settling our motorcycle accident, and we will be one step closer to starting on our house. Lots of things to look forward to as this year comes to an end and next year begins.

Monday, September 09, 2013

our little piece of heaven

One of the things I planned to document when I started this blog was building our house.  We haven't started yet, but we are shooting for next year.  Our original intent was to start building this year, but that has been put on hold til next year.  Between the accident and buying the house that we currently live in, our timeline for building the house got pushed back a bit.  We had absolutely no intention of buying a house, our plan was to live in the house that we rented from Joe's parents until our house was built, but this deal came along that was just wayyy too sweet to pass up.  We're looking to sell next year, hopefully we will have some of our house finished by the time we sell.

When Joe and I first got together he would take me down to the old brickyard turned subdivision on the Little Vermillion river.  There are several lots in the subdivision, but only one has a house on it.  In 2010 we looked a little more closely at buying one to someday build on.  We had to look into the school district (Tonica schools), fire protection, garbage pick up, digging a well, getting the soil tested for septic, there were all kinds of things we had to take into consideration before we purchased one of these lots.  There are no utilities except for underground electric.  We will need a well, a septic, & propane.  After carefully thinking it all over, we decided to purchase the biggest lot in the subdivision.  It's 1.5 acres, it's not actually on the river, it's across the street from it, which we kind of preferred once we got to thinking about having kids, flooding, etc.  We took out a five year loan & planned to pay that off before we started building, or at least have most of it paid off before we rolled it into a construction loan.  

our engagement photos were taken on our property, some with this sign representing our future <3

Right now we spend a lot of time there camping either in our tent or pop-up.  We host bonfires and cookouts pretty often.  We are very excited to start the building process.  After scouring through many house plans both online and in books, we never really did find anything that we loved, so many houses now have the master bedroom on the complete opposite side of the house from the other bedrooms and I think when we have kids, we will want to be closer to them at night so Joe drew up our house plan himself and then drew it in a Design CAD program online.  The next step is to show the plans to our builder to make sure it all works out ok.  I'm sure there will be some minor changes, but all in all, our plan should work out how we want it to.  

There is so much that goes into building a home.  I try to gather all of my design thoughts onto my pin board building our dream home so that everything that I like and all of my ideas are organized together. But there is so much more, there's the house plan, all of the utilities, the placement of the house, energy efficiency, just a lot of other things to think about besides paint colors and counter tops.   Let's be honest, I'm not looking forward to spending money on a leech field for our septic tank, how unappealing does that sound?  But it is necessary in order for us to be able to live, such is life.  But the designing part will be totally worth it, picking our appliances, windows, paint colors, flooring!  Oy Vey!  Here are some of my must-haves:

a nice open kitchen with a beautiful archway

a corner tub & separate shower with tiling 

a fireplace with built-in shelving, just like this one

some stone & some siding, preferably in these colors or similar

everything about this amazing kitchen

as many windows as possible, we have great scenery to be looking at, we need windows

This past weekend we camped there on Saturday & we started looking at some of the trees we were hoping to keep & Joe continued working on clearing the lot.  I can't believe how close we are getting to actually building our forever home!

Friday, September 06, 2013

five on friday

One. Fall Décor
Hooray for September! And for cooler temps finally. Last week was brutal, and I really can’t complain, I sit in the air conditioner all day. Tuesday I decided to get out some of my fall stuff. I didn’t do anything that is too “Halloween-ish” yet. I bought salted caramel scented candles from Target that smell sooo good even unlit. The windows are open, Joe’s anniversary gift has been ordered, all signs point to FALL.

Two. Zuppa Toscana
I found this recipe via Pinterest & could not wait to make it. I love Olive Garden’s version of it so I knew a homemade version would be to die for. The recipe calls for Russet potatoes, but I used cauliflower instead to cut down on carbs (a whole head) and I substituted spinach for kale. It’s super rich, and yummy, it will be great to make on a fall or winter Sunday afternoon. We ate just about the entire pot (or should I say Joe did) I think we ended up with about a bowl left. Next time I will get some sliced Italian bread for dipping.

Three. China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy
I know it’s the end of summer, but this color is just so cute! I really wanted it on my toes for the cruise, but it was a little too light since it was a brand new bottle. Wednesday my friend picked up a bottle for me, I can’t wait to use it! I think I could categorize it as a fall color, it does have a bit of an orange tint to it.

Four. Commitment-free weekend
Yes. We have not had a weekend in what seems like months that we have absolutely nothing to do. The only thing we have going on is lunch at Starved Rock on Sunday with some family, but I don’t consider that to really be a “commitment” per say. We will probably take the bike, we will get to see some out of town family, enjoy a nice meal, maybe a glass of wine, & Starved Rock is just beautiful this time of year.

Five.  Another step 
I had my annual exam on Tuesday (except for they don't do them annually anymore?!) and made an appointment with another doctor in the facility to get started on Clomid.  The appointment happens to fall on our 2 year anniversary.  Maybe it's a sign?  It's almost surreal to think that we are really going down this path.  I'm excited, but also worried of being let down.  I have to remember to take it one day at a time. 
Wish me luck!
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